The next Finnish general election will take place this coming Sunday, 14.4.2019.
FinnishNews & Nordic Week was established just a short time after the 2015 Finnish election and has followed political developments since then by having its Editor in Chief attending the government’s press conferences.
Meeting ministers and top civil servants is an interesting experience because you soon get to know the characters. When speaking on and off the record in front of the press, it is relatively easy to draw conclusions about what they know and do not know. Some answer questions carefully, while others do not, and go off the question to talk positively about their own achievements.
This last four years has then established a clear ranking that the polls appear to reflect.
The Center Party folk have been tried hard to hide their true intentions while talking up the huge cost savings of the healthcare reform and by repeating their mantra that the new counties will result in a more efficient and fairer management of social- and healthcare. They have not backed these claims by real numbers, or with solid arguments. IT costs, the high expenses of setting up of too many new counties, without any reduction of the number of municipalities, just create huge extra costs and gives them more political power.
The Conservative Party have a fondness for spin doctors who write speeches that are filled with their many golden achievements. They have managed to privatise large parts of healthcare and other basic services on the understanding that they have accepted the Center Party “pork barrels”, i.e. the new counties without any reform or reduction of the municipalities. Privatisation has taken place like a stealth bomber. They have managed to help their friends in big business while selling the line that they too are improving cost efficiencies. They also claim to have reduced taxes, but over the last decades taxes in one form or another have not decreased and they are unlikely to do so in the future based on past performance. But if you keep repeating the mantra of lower public debt and lower taxes, people tend to believe that is and will be happening, even though that has never happened. Just look at Trumpland…
There is no need to comment on the True Finns and on the Future Blues because they just invent anything they like to keep their jobs. They float around with ideas that change over time to match the “now”. Their supporters are the typical Brexiteers and Trumpland folk who are sucked in to stories based on wild claims. Our education system has failed us here because it cannot stop the sort of hogwash that have little or nothing to do with reality.
Can we therefore trust the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left? These larger parties have been in opposition the last four years and have not been seen in the same manner as those in the governing parties. The only answer is that the polls are signalling change, and that must be some kind of healthy sign, because competition is needed in politics. So, rule number one, is look at what has happened and consider ´what you really feel about Finland today…
… it is a fine country with a smart population that demands more than most countries from its political leadership. We have good schools, good healthcare and a good infrastructure without too much corruption. There is not much difference between the parties so in the end you will not be too disappointed nor too overjoyed. That is the compromise that all politicians have to make in coalition governments.